Nigerian soldiers opened fire on hundreds of Muslim Arbaeen mourners, martyring at least 42 of them. The mourners where calling for the release of imprisoned Nigerian cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who is still in prison despite a 2016 high court ruling ordering his unconditional freedom.

Iran PressAfrica: As clashes between the Nigeria Police Force and members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) continues in Abuja, security operatives have opened fire on members of the group, killing at least 42 of them.

The army and police attacked hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the group's spokesman Ibrahim Musa told AFP news agency on Monday, amid reports of casualties.

"The security agents attacked members of the IMN when they were in the procession coming into Abuja," Musa told AFP.

A witness told Reuters news agency that the military shot at the protesters who were demanding the release of sheikh Zakzaky,

Other Witness said some victims were lying on the ground on a road in the area of Kugbo on Abuja's outskirts following the army assault. 

It was gathered that security operatives opened fire on the protesters at close range, as they advanced towards Abuja. It was also gathered that security agents used live ammunition on the protesters.

This is the second time in two days that soldiers have opened fire on the Shia community in Nigeria.

Related news:

Nigerian security forces kill at least 10 Arbaeen mourners in Abuja

"People were killed definitely," said Musa.

A Federal High Court had ordered Zakzaky’s unconditional release in 2016, but the Nigerian government has so far refused to abide by the ruling.

Also, Iran has strongly denounced the recent deadly incident in Nigeria in which several Shia mourners were killed by security forces.

RIranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on Monday highlighted the need to respect religious ceremonies held by Shia Muslims in the country.

“We have received conflicting news about the incident, and we are closely monitoring relevant developments and news, waiting for the different dimensions of the incident to come to light,” Ghasemi said today, few days after Nigerian army killed 16 peaceful Arbaeen marchers in Abuja on Saturday.

Read more:

Nigerian protesters call for release of El-Zakzaky

Sheikh Zakzaky supporters condemn Ahvaz terrorist attack

Massive “Free Zakzaky” rally held in Nigerian capital

Nigerian protesters call for Sheikh Zakzaky's release

Shiite Nigerians Call for Release of Sheikh Zakzaky